Mustard is a member of the Brassica plant family which has tiny round edible seeds. The word mustard, is derived from a play of the of the Latin word, mustum ardens meaning burning wine because of its properties.
All parts of the mustard plant are edible, including seeds, leaves, and flowers. One of mustard's greatest health benefits is that it provides tremendous flavor for very little calories and little fat. A gram of mustard flour contains just about 4.3 calories. This is what makes it a great condiment the world over.
The mustard is a well-known oil seed. It is a small annual plant, which grows up to a height of one mt. with some branches. It has a round stem with long inter modes, and very soft yellowish green leaves. The fruit is a pod, about 2.5 cms in length containing the seeds. Dry mustard seeds are small, measuring about 1 mm in diameter. They are round and darkish brown or grayish brown in colour. They have no smell, but when pounded and moistured with water, they emit a peculiar pungent odor. The taste of the mustard seeds is bitter and pungent.
 Origin and Distribution
Black mustard is a native of Eurasia. It has been in cultivation in Europe for a long time. Romans, Greeks and Indians used it since ancient times. The plant is cultivated as a field crop in most temperate countries.
 Food Value
The mustard seeds are used as condiment throughout the world. The seeds yield 28% of a fixed oil, which is used in the manufacture of medicine and soap making. The seeds also contain about 1% of a volatile oil, which is used as a counter irritant when greatly diluted. The oil extracted is used for cooking, frying and as hair oil. It is also used to make pickles and salads. Even the leaves are used as vegetables.
Mustard is also a good source of selenium and magnesium. Selenium helps people with asthma and rheumatoid arthritis while magnesium lowers high blood pressure, reduces migraines and also prevents heart attack. Mustard seeds are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as iron, calcium, zinc, manganese, magnesium, protein, niacin and dietary fiber.
The essential oil Tocopherols present in mustard inhibits growth of certain yeasts, molds, and bacteria, enabling mustard to function as a natural preservative.
 Mustard in the Kitchen
Mustard has multiple uses in the cooking process.
- It can be used for flavouring but to retain maximum flavor, mustard should be added late in the cooking process as the heat of the flame destroys much of its distinctive taste.
- It can be used as a condiment- both in a paste form and flour mixed with water or vinegar
- It can be used as a vegetable
- It can be used for frying.
- Mustard also has good emulsifying ability, which can help thicken a sauce.
 Curative powers
Mustard seeds as well as its oil are used in many prescriptions for the treatment of various ailments.
- White mustard seeds can be used as beauty aids.
- Mustard seeds contain something called the isothiocyanates which have been studied for their anti-cancer properties. It has been known to stop the growth of existing cancer cells and to be protective against the formation of new cancer cells. Though still in research stage, it has already shown promising results.
 Beauty Aids
A handful of white mustard seeds are roasted in a lt. of sesame or coconut oil. The oil is strained and cooled. It is then applied with a little water over the face before going to bed. It helps cure pimples and whitens the complexion.
Mustard oil boiled with henna leaves is useful in healthy growth of hair. About 25 grams of mustard oil should be boiled and a little quantity of henna leaves should be gradually put into the oil. The oil should then be filtered through a cloth and stored.
 Muscular pains
Mustard is a rubefacient, which causes reddening and warming of the skin. Mustard paste with water is applied as analgesic in the case of rheumatism, sciatica, paralysis of limbs and other muscular pains. The plaster should however not be applied directly on to the skin as it can cause painful blistering. A layer of lint material should be put in between the paste and the skin.
 Convulsions in children
A teaspoonful of powdered mustard seeds mixed in a gallon of warm water is used as therapeutic bath in convulsions of children caused by high fever.
Mustard paste as an external application is highly beneficial in the treatment of ringworms. The paste should be applied after washing the skin with sufficiently hot water.
Mustard oil is not directly present in the seeds. Instead, when the seeds are mixed with water it results in a chemical reaction between the enzyme present and a glucoside from the seeds. This produces the oil allyl isothiocyanate.
 Things to be careful about
Mustard seeds contain a substance called goitrogens, which can affect the functioning of the thyroid gland. Though it is said that cooking it deactivated the goitrogens, it is still advised for patients with thyroid problems to avoid it.
Mustard allergies are also possible in some people causing a burning sensation of the mouth, tongue, teeth and throat.
Mustard seeds have certain properties which cause severe vomitting.
Mustard Production A-935(Revised) JUNE 2007
Duane R. Berglund, Professor Emeritus and Former Extension Agronomist ________________________________________ Mustard is an economic cash crop that has a distinct place in rotation with small grains. Mustard is available in three types: yellow, brown and oriental. Yellow mustard (Sinapis alba) is the most common type grown in North Dakota. Only small acreages of brown and oriental (Brassica juncea) are being grown. Yellow mustard is most commonly used for a table or "hotdog" mustard, while brown and oriental are used for oil and spices. All mustard should be grown under contract, assuring the producer of a guaranteed market. Mustard in North Dakota was grown on 24,439 acres in 2006. This was considerably less, compared with four to five years ago. North Dakota producers planted 65,069 acres of mustard in 2003 and 130,984 acres planted in 2002, which is believed to be the highest amount on record in the state.
Adaptation Mustard is best adapted to fertile, well-drained soils. Coarse-textured sands and sandy-loam soils should be avoided because they tend to be droughty. Mustard has some tolerance to salinity and is similar to barley in its productivity on saline soils. Yellow mustard varieties mature in about 85 to 90 days, whereas the brown and oriental types require about 90 to 95 days to reach maturity. Mustard usually will yield best when sown into small-grain stubble. Small-grain crops following mustard in rotations usually will yield better than following small grains. Crops that can be sprayed with 2,4-D or MCPA should follow mustard so that any volunteer plants can be controlled. Crops such as sunflower, canola, safflower, crambe, dry bean and soybean are not recommended in close rotation with mustard because they all are susceptible to sclerotinia (white mold).
Mustard Growth Characteristics Mustard seedlings emerge rapidly but tend to grow slowly after emergence. Under favorable moisture and temperature conditions, the ground will be covered in four or five weeks. Five weeks after emergence, the plants begin to bud. The crop will appear to be rather uneven at this stage of development. A week to 10 days later, it will develop into full yellow bloom and the plant stand will appear more even. Good moisture supplies and cool temperatures favor a long blossoming period. The longer the blooming period, the higher the yield potential. Fully grown plants usually vary in height from 30 to 45 inches, depending on type, variety and environmental conditions.
Seedbed Preparation A prepared seedbed for mustard should be firm and fairly level. Shallow tillage, just deep enough to kill weeds, will keep soil moisture close to the surface and leave the seedbed firm. This will permit shallow seeding and encourage rapid, uniform emergence. Seedbeds should be packed before planting with a roller packer, empty press drill or rodweeder; however, in practice, this is seldom done. Some producers seed with a press drill at one-half rate in two directions to ensure good seed placement. Producers have planted mustard successfully into standing small-grain stubble and minimum-tilled stubble. The firm, moist seedbed has resulted in good stand establishment.
Varieties Yellow mustard varieties tend to be shorter, earlier maturing and lower yielding than brown or oriental varieties. Seed for planting of desired varieties usually is available from contracting firms. See Tables 1 and 2 for variety information. For yield performance and other agronomic information, consult NDSU Extension publication A-1105, "North Dakota Alternative Crop Variety Performance" (current year).
Table 1. Mustard varieties.
Yellow Oriental Brown AC Base AC Vulcan Common Brown AC Pennant Forage Ace Lethbridge 22A Andante Cutlass Gisilba Tilney Viscount ________________________________________
Table 2. Mustard agronomic traits (*averaged across locations) 2006.
Days to Flower Plant Days to
Variety Type Flower Duration Height Mature Oil %
AC Pennant Yellow 39 25 35 81 24.2 Ace Yellow 40 24 37 82 24.5 Andante Yellow 39 25 36 81 24.3 Tilney Yellow 40 24 37 83 24.1 Forge Oriental 25 34.7 Common Brown 35.8 ________________________________________
- Locations: Carrington, Hettinger, Langdon, Minot, Prosper and Williston
Table 3. Mustard seed yields (lb/A).
—————————————— Location ————————————— 2006 2 yr 3 yr
Variety Type Langdon Carrington Williston Prosper Minot Hettinger Avg. Avg. Avg. AC Pennant Yellow 1952 1135 632 933 1643 570 1144 1158 1324 Ace Yellow 1928 1014 737 854 1698 722 1159 1167 1372 Andante Yellow 2086 1139 723 910 1576 927 1227 1228 1417 Tilney Yellow 1851 1117 716 540 1572 625 1070 1051 1281 Forage Oriental � 1272 498 1200 754 404 � � — Cutlass Oriental � � � � 478 � � � — Common Brown � � 643 1309 1167 � � � — Trial Mean 1954 1136 658 957 1270 650 � � — LSD 5% NS NS 112 160 382 107 � � — ________________________________________
Source: NDSU Extension publication A-1105, North Dakota Alternative Crop Variety Performance (April 2007).
Seeding Date and Rate Early seeding is recommended but should be late enough to avoid damage from spring frost just after emergence. Seeding should occur from April 20 to May 15, with planting later than May 15 usually resulting in lower yields. Yellow mustard has approximately 100,000 seeds per pound and is seeded with a grain drill or air seeder at the rate of 10 to 14 pounds per acre. The higher rate should be used on heavy, fertile soils or soils where emergence could be a problem. Oriental and brown mustards, which have a smaller seed - about 200,000 seeds per pound - should be solid-seeded at a rate of 6 pounds per acre. A double disk-opener press drill or air seeder can be used to seed mustard, but depth control is critical for seed placement. Mustard seeds are small and must be planted shallowly (½ to 1½ inches deep) in moist soil and a firm seedbed to ensure rapid germination and emergence. Soil crusting prior to seedling emergence can cause problems. Do not back-harrow. If mustard stands are poor, decisions to replant should not be delayed.
Fertilizer Mustard responds to nitrogen (N) and phosphate fertilizer in a manner similar to small grains. Avoid using more than 10 pounds per acre actual N with the seed because germination injury can occur. Some growers mix low rates of phosphorus fertilizer (20 pounds P205) with mustard seed and plant them together. Consult NDSU Extension publication SF-1122 for mustard fertilization recommendations based on soil tests.
Weed Control Weed control must be based on clean field selection and shallow seeding for quick and uniform emergence to obtain a good, uniform stand. The mustard crop cannot be harrowed, rotary hoed or tilled after emergence. Weeds are a serious problem in mustard production. They not only reduce yields, but weed seeds such as wild mustard, wild buckwheat and foxtail are difficult to remove and can cause severe cleaning losses and market grade reductions. Such losses reduce profits to the grower. Mustard plants are sensitive to herbicides such as 2,4-D, Banvel, MCPA, glyphosate and most imidazolinone and sulfonylurea-type herbicides. Spray drift and sprayer tank contamination must be avoided. All mustards, but especially the oriental and brown types, should be sown on fields known to be relatively free of wild mustard infestation. Wild mustard can be separated mechanically from yellow mustard with large seed, but separation is not possible with the brown and oriental mustards. Wild mustard contamination will reduce grades of mustard, resulting in severe market discounts. Trifluralin at 0.5 to 0.75 pound a.i. per acre (1 to 1.5 pints E.C. per acre or 7 lbs./A 10G) is labeled for grass control and some broadleaf weed control. Trifluralin will not control wild mustard. Trifluralin must be applied prior to seeding and incorporated thoroughly in the soil for maximum effectiveness. Spring or fall application and incorporation are labeled. Rates should be adjusted according to soil type. Clethodim or Select Max can be post-applied for control of certain annual grasses and quack grass. Applications are 4 to 6 fl.oz./A of clethodim or 8.5 to 12.8 fl.oz./A of Select Max. Grass weeds should be 5 inches or less in height. Apply to grassy weeds prior to mustard in the bolting stage and allow a 70-day postharvest interval after spraying. Both Select Max and clethodim should be applied using an oil adjuvant at 1 percent V/V. See NDSU Extension publication W-253 (current year) for more information on control of weeds in mustard, and always follow the directions on the label.
Insects Insects can cause serious yield losses and growers should monitor fields closely for potential problems. Flea beetles and diamondback moth caterpillars have been the most troublesome insects. Damage to mustard plants can be caused by early season feeding on seedlings from overwintered flea beetles. Flea beetles are shiny, black, jumping beetles about c inch long. The adult beetles feed on the cotyledons and first true leaves, causing the typical shot-holed appearance. Severely damaged seedlings may die, while less seriously damaged plants often suffer a reduction in vigor and stamina. Hot, sunny weather is conducive to feeding activity, while cool, damp weather slows feeding and favors crop growth. Hot and dry weather may cause damaged seedlings to wilt and die, and partial to complete crop loss can result. In some instances, the infestation of a field can occur as a creeping movement from plant to plant across a field; in other instances, the entire field may become quickly and evenly infested. Once the crop advances beyond the seedling stage, economic damage usually does not occur because vigorously growing mustard can outgrow the beetle defoliation. Mustard generally is less susceptible to adult feeding injury than canola. No major effects on plant vigor have been noted from the feeding of the larvae on plant roots. Cultural methods can help reduce plant losses caused by flea beetles. Early planting and a firm seedbed that is well-tilled and adequately fertilized will help plants outgrow beetle damage during the susceptible early season stages. A few flea beetles or scattered shot-holing are not necessarily cause for alarm. However, if defoliation is greater than 25 percent of the surface area of cotyledons and first true leaves and beetles are numerous, immediate control likely will be required. Diamondback moth caterpillars attain a length of ½ inch and are light yellowish green to green. The larvae eat leaves, flowers and green pods and are extremely active when touched. Insecticides labeled for control of insects in mustard are listed in the NDSU publication E-1143, "North Dakota Field Crop Insect Management Guide" (current year).
Diseases Several diseases attack mustard. Among the most serious are downy mildew, white rust, sclerotinia stalk rot (white mold) and virus mosaic. Mustard should not be included in crop rotations containing crops such as sunflower, canola, dry edible bean, crambe or safflower. These crops have similar disease problems, so disease infestations can build to economic levels. Several broadleaf weeds also serve as hosts or reservoirs for these diseases. Among the more prominent are shepherd's purse, pigweed, wild mustard and field pennycress. Mustard grown in a small-grain rotation is one of the best preventatives of serious disease problems and provides an excellent biological break for cereal grain leaf diseases.
Harvesting Wind, rain and normal drying generally do not cause mustard to shatter before cutting. But, the actual harvesting operations can cause severe shattering losses when the crop is overripe or extremely dry. Yellow mustard can be straight combined if the field is not weedy and the crop is uniformly ripe. When direct combining, wait until the crop is mature and dry. The reel may cause shattering when straight combining, but it can be removed or lifted above the crop if the stand is good. If the reel is needed, reduce speed and remove half the bats. Many growers of yellow mustard prefer to straight combine while the crop is still tough (12 percent to 15 percent moisture) and then artificially dry. This results in seed of uniform quality. Brown and oriental mustard varieties generally are more susceptible to shattering than the yellow types and should be swathed. Yellow mustard should be swathed if the crop is weedy or uneven in maturity. Mustard should be swathed following general leaf drop when overall field color changes from green to yellow/brown and early enough to avoid shattering. Pods selected from the middle of the racemes of several plants in areas representing the average maturity of the field should be examined for physiological maturity of the seeds. Most varieties are at the optimum maturity for swathing when upper pods have turned and seeds are brown or yellow. The remaining 25 percent of green seeds will mature in the swath prior to harvest. Swathing in early morning hours will aid in reducing shattering losses from ripe pods. The windrow is inclined to be bulky and easily scattered by the wind. To help prevent this, many growers pull steel drums over the top of the windrow to help push it into the stubble. Swathing at a high stubble level will reduce the size of the windrow and will provide stubble in which it can lie. The combine should be adjusted so that the seeds are completely threshed while using the lowest possible cylinder speed. Cylinder speed should be set at approximately 600 rpm. Careful adjustment of the cylinder speed and cylinder opening is important to avoid cracking. When the crop is very dry, every other cylinder bar may have to be removed. To test for cracking, run your hand into the threshed seed. If cracked mustard is present, it will adhere to the hair on the back of your hand, indicating the need for further combine adjustment. Cracked seed is considered dockage and a loss to the producer. Cylinder speed may need to be varied during the day as crop moisture content varies. Fan speed should be reduced to limit seed loss with the straw, yet maintain sufficient air to ensure clean mustard grain for market.
Storage Mustard seed can be stored safely when the moisture content reaches 9 percent or less. Take care to avoid cracking the seed while moving the crop in and out of storage. Cracked seed ends up as dockage and a loss to the producer. When drying, do not to exceed air temperatures of 150 F or seed temperatures of 120 F. Tight bins, augers and truck boxes free of cracks or holes are essential for transfer and storage of mustard.
Utilization of Mustard Yellow mustard mainly is used in the meat packing industry as an aid to flavor, emulsification, water binding, slicing and texture in hog dogs, bologna and other processed meats. Ground yellow mustard can absorb excess fats and fluid (approximately 4.5 times its own weight) and also is used with seasoned hamburger, meatloaf, liver sausage, chili, various canned meat products and some table mustards. Oriental mustard is used primarily in low-grade Chinese mustards. Some spice-blending houses use it as an ingredient for its hot, pungent flavor. It is an essential ingredient in mayonnaise, certain salad dressings, barbecue sauces, baked beans, steak sauces, relishes and many other flavoring sauces. Brown mustard has limited uses in hot, spicy table mustards and other seasonings.
- The Mustard Seeds
- Black Mustard